Two Alabama fugitives were arrested in Cherokee County on Sunday afternoon following an armed standoff in the woods near Ball Ground, authorities said.
According to Capt. Jay Baker with the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office:
An advisory was received by local law enforcement on Sunday afternoon that two men wanted for several violent crimes spread across two counties in Alabama might be headed toward Cherokee County.
Shortly after the lookout, a Ball Ground police officer spotted the silver Ford Escape the two men were driving on Interstate 575 and attempted to pull them over. They fled, exiting the interstate and driving to the end of Leo Taylor Lane, pulling behind LAT Sportswear and ran into the woods with the officer in pursuit.
“Cherokee Sheriff’s Office deputies arrived on the scene shortly after the suspects fled into the woods. Moments later officers were fired upon by the suspects but no one was injured,” Baker said. “Additional units and the Cherokee County Multi-Agency SWAT Team was called to the scene. Several law enforcement agencies arrived on the scene to assist, including a Georgia State Patrol helicopter who spotted the suspects and confirmed they were armed.”
Ga. Highway 5 was closed from Howell Bridge Road to East Cherokee Drive as authorities closed in on the men. Residents in the area of Highway 5 and Leo Taylor Lane were advised to stay in their homes.
“The men were spotted and they were armed with weapons and appeared set up for a gun battle,” Baker said.
After a three-hour standoff, both men were taken into custody late Sunday afternoon.
Hunter Kaleb Kirkland, 27, of Taylor, Alabama, was the suspect who was shot. He was taken to WellStar Kennestone Hospital in Marietta for treatment and later transferred to Grady Hospital in Atlanta for surgery, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Kirkland was armed with a rifle during the standoff, the GBI reported. The other suspect, Jeffrey Danner, 30, of Dothan, Alabama complained of a medical issue shortly after being arrested and was transported to Northside Hospital Cherokee, Baker said Sunday night.
After being evaluated at the hospital, Danner was booked into the Cherokee County jail on four counts of aggravated assault against a police officer, fleeing and attempting to elude police and simple battery against a police officer. He is being held without bond.
No law enforcement officers were hurt.
“As with all officer-involved shootings, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation was notified and will be investigating the incident. Both suspects will be charged with aggravated assault on a police officer. Additional charges are likely. Cherokee Sheriff’s Office detectives are currently communicating with investigators in Alabama regarding charges in that state, including attempted murder,” Baker said Sunday night.
Danner was charged by Dothan police in December with assault against his ex-wife, according to a report in the Dothan Eagle newspaper. According to that report, Danner is accused of striking the woman in the head with a handgun, which then discharged and the bullet grazed her head.
In January of 2020 Danner was ordered into mental health treatment after he reportedly got into an altercation with family members in nearby Barbour County, Alabama and pulled a gun. In that instance he was taken into custody after a several hour standoff with police, according to a report in the Dothan Eagle.